Council to vote on controversial tenant reforms Wednesday
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the most recent versions of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's newest tenant reform proposals on Wednesday, June 19.
Even though they were amended during a June 12 council hearing, both measures are still controversial. They are supported by many renters and housing rights advocates but opposed by many landlords, their organizations and some developers. The city attorney's office also has identified potential legal problems with some of the provisions.
The measures are intended to increase housing availability people who have been historically marginalized by regulation the application process, preventing landlords from refusing to rent to people with criminal convictions in some cases, limiting how much income landlords can require tenants to earn, imposing rules on security deposits, and more.
Tenant advocates say they reforms are necessary to prevent discrimination. Landlord advocates says state and federal laws already prohibit such discrimination, and the new requirements will increase rents and reduce the amount of rental housing.
"Nothing significantly changed for us," Multifamily NW Executive Director Deborah Imse said about the amendments adopted on June 12th. Imse's organization represent both small and large landlords in Portland. She says the cost of administering the proposed requirments and potential liability for not complying with them will prompt many landlords to sell their propoerties.
The City Attorney's Office has issued an opinion that says some of the provisions are vulnerable to court challenges that could requirement the city to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees.
The proposals are items 613 and 614 on the council's June 19 agenda here.
You can read a recent Portland Tribune story on the issue here.